A place to talk about feeding our doodles a variety of home-cooked foods, with recipes included. Ask questions, check on safe ingredients, share some tips. Please see The DK Cookbook Group for recipes, too! http://doodlekisses.com/group/dkcookbook
I don't have any recipes. It is highly unlikely that I will cook for my pooches anytime soon. But, there is a website I ran across a while back that I found to be excellent as far as evidence based information for those who want to make homemade meals for their dogs. There is a cost to get a consultation with the expert, but many questions are answered throughout the site:
PetDiets.com was one of the sites I used to come up with mine. Other good resources are Strombeck, "Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets;" Dr. Pitcairn, "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats;" Messonnier, "Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats." I now have my own doggie library.
Any and all of these references are a great place to start. But I found that over time, I made it into a quick and easy process, that I can do on a Sunday, bag and freeze for the whole week. Recipies are great if you have the time, maybe are home all day. I am not so I worked it out for me.
I just posted a website under Karen's main post about guidelines that you may also want to look at: www.monicasegal.com. She is an animal nutritionist and I have found her to be amazing in her support and product offerings, guidelines.
My std poodle, Magic died during the 2007 dog food recalls and I have been home cooking ever since. Below is the way I do it and have shared this on several forums and thought I'd copy it here:
I really don't have a single recipe. When I first started, I got some dog food cookbooks off Amazon.com and downloaded some recipes from a Google search. Since, through trial and error, I've simplified my regimen considerably. A book that really helped was Dr. Pitcairns, Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Here’s what I do:
I buy the big bag of Frozen Chicken Tenders at Costco and bake them to 3/4 done (they cook more on the pan), then in a big pot I put about a cup of Organic Chicken Broth and cook some red rice with lentils (Royal Blend Texmati Brand is what I use). You could use brown rice, too. When mostly done, I steam different veggies, sometimes blueberries, sometimes crazins (dried cranberry raisin like things, don't feed raisins) sometimes I'll add an apple chopped up, pumpkin or some seeds or nuts. I add plain oatmeal or flax seed and sometimes Ill change to the brown or red rice and lentils. Basically, my recipe changes every week with some similarities.
Usually on a Sunday, I cook dog food (once a week and ziplock bag and freeze). About every other month, I'll cook up some stew beef and salmon or other oily fish added to the chicken or liver. I use ground turkey and some ground beef occasionally. I did pork once, mixed into the chx tenders, lamb is expensive so I only did that one time, what ever is on sale I buy. I always give daily supplement, cod liver or salmon oil every other day and I started adding bone meal, yogurt or cottage cheese a couple days a week. I also bought The Missing Link Superfood Supplement and Solid Gold SeaMeal Supplement that I separately (1/2 tsp) add once a week. They include natural plant enzymes.
It might sound like a lot but it takes me about an hour to cook, cut up and bag each week. The kids even help. When I shop for the family, I shop for the dogs, too. I also split 1, 13oz can of Innova Evo 95% Meat Dog Food, Natures Logic, Merrick Before Grain, Canidae or other premium dog food between 3 dogs every other day or so. I leave Premium Grade dry food out all day and they will pick on that here and there (I use Innova Evo Red Meat Small Bites). I have never had a problem with overeating. I got a dehydrator for Xmas last year so every month or so I use a bag of chx tenders to make jerky. The doods go crazy for them.
I read several articles while I was doing my research that made a lot of sense. They said that before the 1960's or so when dog food was created, dogs ate what the family ate or they hunted their meal. Dogs are carnivores. They ate different things every day. They didn't seek out anything other than meat. The only grains or fruits would be in the stomachs of their preys. And while there is a yuck factor to allowing my dogs to go out hunting, I try to match it to some extent. Dogs don’t do well on large amounts of corn, which is a cheap ingredient the food companies add to keep costs down.
They didn't eat corn or rice or wheat (gluten, drugs, etc) and they lived to 18, 20 or more. If people ate the same thing every day for years on end they would get sick of it and if they ate some of the crap that has been put into dog foods over the years, our life expectancy would be a lot lower. I have taken this to my dog feeding.
Much of the advice I have shared on DoodleKisses has been great advice and many more people are home cooking or feeding raw. I think, and I am really glad to see more pet owners take charge of the food they feed their dogs. I had absolutely no idea there was a problem with what I fed my dog until Magic died. Now, I research everything I buy
My biggest concern about making my own food has always been about making sure all the right nutrients are being added. Have you worked in conjunction with your Vet to make sure your dogs are getting everything they need or simply from all of your reading? I would love to move to making my own food and do not mind the time etc. just a little nervous about not giving the right mix.